On our first night in Saigon, Mig and I decided to go touristy and we ate at the hawker stands that set up outside the Ben Thanh Market. Prices for food are abnormally higher vs some restaurants but it’s still cheap for a typical meal in Philippine standards. We settled for this stall named, Quan Xuan, which had lots of pho pictures and a cart with chickens and meat hanging on the display.

Lotus stem pork and prawn salad – I decided to order this one so Mig can sample something really Vietnamese: pickled lotus stem. To my surprise this wasn’t served with the prawn crackers like in Ngon but the sauce was delightful and the lotus stems were crunchy. The nice prawns were firm and crunchy and gave a wonderful texture and flavor combination with the lotus and other herbs.

Sour Crab Soup – Not much crab in this soup and it wasn’t really sour, now, I am not quite sure if this is what they served us. I bet this could be way better in other restos but it was pretty interesting to know that I can mix the fermented fish paste in it to taste.

Pho Bo –
the soup was delightful and rich. The serving was good. I wanted to show Mig the big difference between Pho Hoa or any of the Viet places in Manila and being in Vietnam itself (obviously, no contest). It was great to have a nice big bowl of vegetables of different kinds to top onto the soup…this is typically called Rao in Vietnam and it showcases the different herbs and veggies available to top on your soup / salad/ rolls.

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